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Walmart expands mobile application pilot project

Kevin Paolino
VP, Revenue
Thursday, February 28, 2013

Although Walmart has built a strong foundation in the brick-and-mortar retail space, the company has also effectively leveraged digital channels such as its website and mobile applications. Continuing this trend, Walmart recently announced an expansion of its Scan and Go feature for the iPhone. Bill Siwicki, managing editor for Internet Retailer, noted that the company had been testing the app in a limited number of locations in California and Oregon.

The application allows shoppers to scan in-store products as they're browsing, and it creates an inventory of everything scanned. When users are ready for checkout, they can produce a custom QR code to use at self-checkout lanes to tally all of their items. Siwicki noted that Walmart is releasing the technology in 40 new locations near Denver, Colorado.

"Retailers may underestimate both the signage and in-store training required to support this kind of effort," said Nikki Baird, a managing partner at Retail Systems Research, according to the news source. "If Walmart can get past these challenges, it will have an opportunity to both reach shoppers at the shelf to influence sales and improve insights into how consumers navigate its stores. And consumers will either have a more convenient shopping experience or an opportunity to save money on the products they buy, or both."

In addition to its use of mobile hosting, Walmart has been successful in expanding its overall web presence. According to comScore's ranking of the top 50 digital properties in December 2012, Walmart was 19th, ranked ahead of several social media websites. Analysts also noted a significant increase in the number of online shoppers browsing in the jewelry, accessories and luxury goods categories.